Costa Rica Trip
The Languages and Cultures Department is offering an exciting, four-week study abroad experience to Costa Rica in spring 2012. Students will test their Spanish communication skills by interacting with the people and the culture of this Central American country and by taking classes through the University of San Jose in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a diverse country. Geographically, it offers beaches, rainforests and volcanoes. The major economic resources are fertile land and frequent rainfall. Agriculturally, Costa Rica is known for its bananas, pineapple and coffee. In recent years, the country has made major strides in high technology and healthcare product companies.
“Pura Vida,” which means pure life or good life, is the most recognizable phrase attached to Costa Ricans and aptly reflects the Costa Rican way of life.
The spring 2011 Studies Abroad trip provided students with an
introduction to Ecuador’s highly diverse culture and geography. Dr.
Mafla-Bustamante met with students once a week for nine weeks before
the trip to teach about the country’s culture, geography, flora and
fauna. During the trip, students practiced speaking Spanish with the
Ecuadorian people. English-speaking guides were available for those who
did not speak Spanish. After the trip, students presented their final
The group toured Quito, the capital of Ecuador and the
World Heritage site, visiting the colonial center, the Presidential
Palace and the Pululahua Crater at the Equator Line. The highlight of
the trip was five days exploring the Ecuadorian Islands—Galápagos—also
a World Heritage site. They visited the islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela,
Seymour North and Floreana, where the first settlers lived. At the
Charles Darwin Station, they observed the giant Galápagos turtles. They
snorkeled in Tortuga Bay beach. Students saw frigate birds, blue footed
boobies, land iguanas, penguins, flamingoes, sea lions, and much more.
The country boasts more than 100,000 species of mammals, birds, fish,
reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants. On Isabela, students rode
horses to see the Sierra Negra volcano, the second biggest crater in
the world (52 km).
Students providing glowing reviews of the
academic experience. Comments included feeling more confident in
Spanish as they spoke the language and absorbed the culture, attaining
a broader global perspective, learning about the social and natural
history of Ecuador and crediting the trip director for a
well-organized, worthwhile adventure.
Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. Studying abroad completely immerses students in the language and culture. Students work closely with their faculty advisor to plan a course of study that will apply to the major and minor coursework.Exchange programs include:
The following are links to learn more about the participating universities:
Tianjin, China | Kanda University, Japan Kanto Gakuin University, Japan | Nagoya Gakuin University, Japan
Natasha Smith talks about her experience